Just ahead of the opening day of duck hunting last weekend, the New Zealand Mountain Safety Council (MSC) released a new video campaign that zeroes in on hunter safety.

Called Let bad habits die, not your mates, the video recognised the potential restless wait duck hunters have had due to the start of the season being delayed due to Covid-19 alert level restrictions.

MSC chief executive Mike Daisley says their primary focus heading into the much anticipated season was to continue to see a downward trend in firearms related incidents.

"In 2016 we identified a peak in firearms incidents with 22 occurring during that season alone. This peak was the culmination of a three-year increasing trend and led us in 2017 to implement a targeted video safety campaign known as Early Bird.

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"Off the back of that campaign we've seen incidents drop for two consecutive years. We want to keep that momentum going and continue to engage hunters with important safety messaging in relevant ways which is why we committed to another video campaign in 2020."

As well as focusing on firearm storage and handling, this particular campaign video challenges some of the old-school attitudes hunters can have towards operating a
firearm.

"The call to action this year 'let bad habits die, not your mates' is designed to stimulate the thought process, we want duck shooters to be thinking about their habits, their actions in the maimai, and how they alone have the safety of others in their hands,'' says Daisley.

The video can be watched at mounatinsafety.org.nz or on YouTube.

In New Zealand Fish and Game's Eastern Region, the duck hunting season runs until June 21.